Afraid of being on camera? Have you shied away from doing either pre-recorded or live video? If so, you aren’t alone. Tons of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and bloggers are missing out on the huge upside of using video on social media. Yet, with the explosive growth of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, video is at the forefront of effective content. What is most important to your business? It’s getting more clients and making more money. Both of these can improve drastically through the strategic use of live video or pre-recorded video on social media.
Statistic: Over 90% of mobile video consumers share videos to others
Sharing of content across social media platforms can take on a life of its own. People start engaging on your content posts, connecting to one another organically, and exploring your brand. The key to engagement with video is being yourself, standing out, and bringing excellent content. You don’t have to hit the makeup studio before pressing record either. People really don’t care if your hair is just right, or you have the most perfect of backgrounds. They want something real and they want something helpful.
It’s a fact that people would rather watch a video recording, Facebook live video, or something animated than to just read text. In this technology-driven society, video content trumps text and image only content. Memes are cool, but they get old and don’t attract enough attention. I think a long time ago the show America’s Funniest Home Videos had it right and we didn’t even know it. They were sort of a trailblazer for content. Their choice of content brought laughter to people and sparked a family atmosphere for those that just wanted to break away from stress. Now video is all the rage. Five billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day with over 1.3 billion users and climbing.
What businesses should use live video or even pre-recorded video? The short answer is all of them. Videos work for any niche market. Bloggers, life coaches, event speakers, retail commerce businesses, and fitness trainers can all take advantage of the marketing power of live video. So, no matter what you are trying to grow or brand, you can and should start using video right away.
The Benefits of Posting Video
Facebook loves it
Pages get rewarded for doing video. The algorithms adore you when you do live video. They notify friends and followers that you “went live” so they can join in. This allows you to interact with viewers right away.
Gives you a chance to create a call to action and sense of urgency
Want to run a promotion or explain a contest? Video is a great way to get that information out. It also allows viewers to hear how they can take advantage of the offer.
Provides rich content and explainer content
There are so many things you can do with video to include voice, music, animation, motion, and other cool effects. Don’t forget caption either, because sometimes you just want to have the sound off.
People get to know the person behind the brand
Connections come from relationships being built over time. Let’s face it. Even people on dating websites at some point want to see each other. Videos bring people close to your company. It provides of sense of belonging.
A wider audience to reach
Facebook calls this phenomenon “reach”. Reach is how many people in their newsfeed universe get to see your content. It’s not easy figuring out why some content works better over others, but it is evident that video scores really well.
Statistic: 75% of people would rather watch video about a product than read about it
What kind of equipment or software is needed? It really depends on the scope of quality you are looking for. Honestly, though you can use your handy iPhone or Android phone to record videos. Phones these days are pretty incredible when it comes to picture and video quality. You don’t need a camera crew with live mics and other sorts of production equipment. Now, if you can afford to hire a crew to handle all this, then, by all means, have at it. For the rest of us, just use your phone and use the record system that comes with Facebook or Instagram Live to get some video recorded.
In other words, there is no more excuse for not doing it. You have the equipment. You know what social media platforms appreciate video. Most of all, your target market would love to see what you have to say and how you can benefit them.
A very cool and easy to use video editing app that I use a lot is called Splice. It’s an editor and movie maker by GoPro. Definitely, check it out if you want to pre-record videos and edit them before posting across social media. If you have a mac you can use iMovie as well. Video editors will help you cut out a few seconds here and there and make the videos more professional. However, keep in mind, you must do live video as well. So, don’t be afraid. You got this.
Content is King. This is probably an overused cliche, but nevertheless, it’s true. When you are talking about website content and social media content, it’s even truer. Content can come in a wide variety of formats to include text, blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, and live broadcasts just to name a few. Anything you share on a company site or social media platform is considered content. From the perspective of your target market or existing client base, any form of media they see is content. That’s why it’s crazy important to create the most vivid and strategic content you can deliver. Content affects your brand which is your reputation. So, only the best content should be allowed.
When it comes to creating great content, you owe to yourself to use the best tools available. Here are a few resources I use daily to create content. Not everything requires a monetary investment on your part either. A lot of fantastic tools are free, believe it or not. Most software has both free and paid versions. So, make use of what you can and pay for things when it brings the benefit you need for your business. There’s no need to waste money to tools you may not need as much as others.
The software I use the most is probably Canva. This elite graphics design tool makes designing crisp and brilliant visuals so simple to do. It carries tons of templates, some free and some not. I do pay for this software. One of the main reasons I do is for the resizing aspect of already created images. You can take graphics you’ve already made for Facebook for instance and resize it into the perfect size for Twitter, Pinterest, or even a magazine layout. With Canva you can design ebooks, flyers, marketing materials, wallpapers, and sorts of social media images.
Most content consists of both text and imaging. There are loads of great image resources available online to get the best quality photos for your content. Unsplash and Pixabay are my favorite free image sites for sure. There are a zillion different results available with a quick and easy search bar that keys on words.
Keep in mind, when I mention text content, I am referring to the actual wording used. Image and graphics are extremely important, but the wording in a lot of cases is too. Think about what you are trying to “say”. What message are you wanting to get out to your audience? Effective marketing in print or online is only as good as its delivery. If you want to showcase a new product, for example, you need to share the “benefit” of what you are selling and “entice” people to buy it. Think about beer commercials for a second. A lot of these ads feature something just about everyone loves, that being football. In that type of visual scene, they also make sure the packaging is vividly cool and the product is “ice cold”. It’s all about presentation. Content needs to have substance and pop off the screen.
Imagine with me you just wrote a short blog series on how to build the perfect kitchen table. The blog is beautifully written and Yoast says it’s highly rated for “readability” and “SEO”. What’s SEO? I’ll clarify that in just a moment. So, you have this fantastic blog series. How are you going to market it? There are many ways to market it and all of them involve some kind of content. Videos need great editing, perhaps music, the best scenery, and catchy speech. An infographic needs heavy design emphasis regarding fonts used, color schemes, and imaging. A social media post must be an attention grabber visually. Which post below would be more appealing to you if you were scrolling facebook?
We sell apples at our store
photo Kasman on Pixabay
Want to taste the juiciest red delicious apples? photo by Roksolana Zasiadko on Unsplash
Now, let’s talk about SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization and basically, it means getting more traffic for your site on search engine results pages. Any company that wants to grow has the ultimate goal of being at the top of page one on Google search. When a prospective client is looking for a product, most people type it directly into the Google search bar. Optimizing your site is one way to help achieve that goal one day. How do you optimize your site exactly? There are many things you want to do to improve SEO.
Here is a list of Ten Things your business should do
- Come up with the best FOCUS KEYWORD you can for any content displayed
- Utilize INTERNAL LINKS back to site pages or content posts
- By all means, check your GRAMMAR
- Make use of DESCRIPTORS like tags, alt text, captions, description, and excerpts
- Reference EXTERNAL LINKS as long as they aren’t competitors
- Maximize the SPEED of your site’s loading time
- Get GOOGLE VERIFIED and pay attention to GOOGLE ANALYTICS
- Include WIDELY SEARCHED PHRASES in your site content
- NEVER TRY TO TRICK Google with hidden text or links as you will get caught
- Improve the DESIGN, READABILITY, and CONTENT to get people to spend more time there
To some business owners, this may be a little complicated if you don’t have a website manager or web design company in place. If you can’t program your site, virtualRVA would be happy to help. In any case, take special consideration to how your site is built and what content is displayed. If not, both revenue and growth may be lacking for the future.
It really is all about who you know or who knows you for that matter. In business, the people that you know should and can be the added push you need to grow your business. They call knowing certain individuals in business being “connected”. And, having those connections will without a doubt drastically increase your chances of success. You see, sometimes it takes more than hard work to get an edge on the competition. It takes a lot of building and fostering relationships with other entrepreneurs and business owners. In marketing, we call this Social Proof.
Social Proof is a sort of peer pressure. It’s all psychological. Basically, it’s a way to socially influence the behaviors of consumers completely through the actions of others. Let’s say, for example, you have produced and marketed some wireless headphones that have some technology superior to other companies, but you can’t seem to get sales. If you find a way to provide some social proof that consumers need to buy them, your sales will exponentially increase. Hmmm? So, what do you do? Well, let’s say you get a major music artist to try them out. And then they fall in love with them. At that point, you are getting social proof. With their permission, you can have them do a video testimony of how they enjoy those headphones. This credence will no doubt have consumers saying, “I need to buy those”.
Entrepreneurs, who are paid event speakers, gain a ton of social proof when business owners, media outlets, and other entrepreneurs give them KUDOS on how they’ve helped them out. Appearances on tv shows and news outlet features give them credibility especially when they use those big names on their websites. For example, check out Gary Vee’s site which shows what media giants he has been featured on.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to be on Fox News or appear in the Wall Street Journal to get social proof. Any business owner can gain some level of credibility no matter what scale it’s on. If you have clients that love your work, have them do a video testimony to expound on how extremely talented you are. Have other business owners share your social media content. Do a guest blog for another company and have it posted on their website and other media platforms.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The bottom line to getting social proof is to be the best at what you do for all your clients all the time. Once you have clients loving your business or your products, you then will begin to see referrals coming your way. After you get the social proof, you absolutely have to use that positivity to its fullest potential. I mean, work it seriously. Brag like crazy in a humble way. Put the written content or videos on every platform your business utilizes. People that don’t know you or your business will come to trust you as they hear the testimonies of other satisfied clients.
Read this example of a client testimony my wife received recently about her and our company.
With the internet completely changing how business is done these days, it’s undeniably critical to take advantage of its advertising capabilities. There is a huge increase of people starting their own businesses right now in the U.S. alone, let alone the rest of the world. A great amount of these startups are online businesses. This is why you must leverage every ounce of client satisfaction and social proof you can to be successful.
Click HERE to read my latest blog post written for the Canadian Virtual Gurus.
It’s all about the benefits of unplugging.
They say that image is everything. In business, that is a very true statement. When it comes to marketing and advertising products, it’s even more important. In a lot of cases, you have a limited opportunity to catch the eye of a prospective buyer. People are inundated by marketing across all media outlets because of the rapid growth of technology. What people see is what they perceive reality to be. Therefore, businesses are challenged to send the right messages by using quality photos in order to reach their target market.
When you think about social media marketing, there is a smaller window of opportunity in a Facebook or Twitter feed to grab someone’s attention. The new enemy of business is the finger that scrolls too fast. Will they see your product launch promotion? Will they notice the value in what you are selling? Maybe. Maybe not. All you can do is take care of what is within your control as a business owner. Creating and displaying high definition and high-quality imaging definitely is within your control.
As with anything else, the level of quality of a photo or digital image is in direct correlation to the quality of the device you use to create that image. Lately, it seems tech users throw around the term Megapixel a lot when discussing quality photos. A Megapixel (MP) is one million pixels of which each point in a photo is a pixel. The iPhone 7 Plus, for example, has 12MP which consists of 12 million pixels. One would think that having more is usually better, right? Not necessarily. The biggest determinant of quality is again the device you are using. Does the iPhone 7 Plus shoot good pictures? Of course. However, quality comes from the lens and the sensor being used.
Here are 4 important factors affecting image quality
Lens – What separates a good lens from a bad lens depends on glass quality, manufacturing process, and grade of coatings used. The innovation used in Nikon’s Aspherical Lens helps to drastically reduce distortion and lens aberration. A coating placed on a lens helps to minimize reflection of light issues. Basically, you get what you pay for. Quality isn’t always cheap, but it’s critical.
Sensor – This is typically the most expensive part of any camera. This is the device that captures the light and converts it into an image. The sensor removes the need for film. This is where ‘bigger is better’ stands out strongly. Larger sensors have the ability to capture more light and therefore create photos with an increased dynamic range with less noise.
Photographer – Taking a brilliant and dazzling photo isn’t as easy as one would think. Even with the production of better cell phones and DSLR cameras, that alone doesn’t lead to great imaging. What does matter is who is taking the photo. What skills and experience do they have? Are they familiar with how light affects photos in general? Use images taken by only those with the keen eye and talent for shooting.
Light Conditions – Understanding just how light affects a photograph cannot be overemphasized. What things do you have to look for as far as good lighting?
- Where is the Sun shining up above?
- What time of day are you taking the shot?
- Is it cloudy or is the sky completely blue and bright?
- Is there a great amount of shade?
- Are you indoors or is it at night?
I think you get the point. Many variables directly influence when you should take that photo and if it will turn out good or not. Take a nice Flash with you if you will be in low-light areas or indoors. Haze and moisture affect the brightness of a photo too so keep an eye on humidity levels and the weather changes. Need a few tips on lighting, check out this video.
Now, let’s switch to what a lot of businesses are doing these days. That is using stock images from sites like Pixabay, Picjumbo, and Gratisography can be a fantastic way to find high-quality images for web use. Keep in mind, you want to know the copyright ramifications and if a particular image requires attribution or is free for commercial use. Take a look at the image closely and check any requirements before posting on your website or social media platform.
Take a look at the overall color scheme of the website when you decide which images to throw up. This will ensure everything flows and doesn’t look cluttered or out of place. Also, use the right size when uploading it on your site so that it loads fast when someone pulls up your page. You can check upload speeds online to make sure your website isn’t slowed by a photo.
The bottom line is that you want to attract the viewer and keep their interest. Using the best images on social media posts, email campaigns, and CTA’s can also drive website traffic and improve conversion rates. The most highly shared Facebook posts and retweets on Twitter are a lot of times a direct result of the imaging behind the posts.
Let me just make a side statement though. A lot of businesses starting out may not be able to purchase the greatest camera on the market. That’s okay. I am one of those. Rock what you’ve got. Bad grammar but a wise statement none the less. Create the best images you can with whatever tools you have.
So, take a look at the photos currently on your website and think about these aspects of quality imaging.
Creating a social media profile sounds simple enough. Yet truthfully, although it may be easy and quick to set up, making sure you do it right is absolutely critical. There are many components that make up a social media profile. Of course, each platform is different and unique. Facebook for example, likely considered the most popular and hottest social media platform, has a decent amount of room available and categories with which to fully detail your business page. We will delve into a few of the different platforms but I really want to break down the essentials of what every business should have.
Where do we begin? Start with the basics which include business name, profile picture, and cover image. Utilize the branded logo of your company as the profile picture unless you are the face of the company. A lot of sole business owners, coaches, and entrepreneurs use their favorite photo of themselves, but you may opt for the company logo instead. As for the cover page, the photo or image should indicate clearly what this page is about. If you are a hair stylist, you probably don’t want to use a photo of construction workers building a house. Make the cover image accentuate the purpose of the page and the business behind it. Check out how the UFC uses it’s cover page to promote upcoming events.
The most important info that needs to be on a social media profile besides contact information is the bio or about section. Use as many available characters allowed. Here are the character limits for some popular social media sites:
- 155 characters for Short Description
- 255 characters for About
- 150 characters for Description
- 120 characters for Professional Bio
When you create and describe what your page is about, you will need to make the best use of the space allowed. Making the description interesting and full of important information is vital. Please don’t waste space either. Make it stand out so that people will want to follow it and understand exactly what it’s about.
Honestly, it’s all about how crisp and clean the social media profile is. No typos are allowed. Great grammar is suggested. The contact and other business information need to be up-to-date too. Remember, everything you put online about your business affects your reputation as a company.
Depending on the type of business page category you select may open up other profile fields such as company overview, history, and products to name a few.
Looking for suggestions on what a company page should look like? Check out these below:
- Tervis – the tumbler drinkware creator
- Red Bull – Energy beverage maker
- Dyson – makes some killer vacuum cleaners
- Canva – graphic design tool
- IBM – computing
A profile page isn’t a one and done concept. Periodic changes and maintenance must be kept up with in order to maintain a current social media profile. Just like anything else, each business must be about innovation and staying fluidly flexible. If you already have profiles out there on Instagram, and Twitter, it’s time to analyze them and make any needed changes right away.
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